There was a dramatic and highly controversial ending to a fight between Ricky Simon and Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Fight Night 128 on Saturday night, which one of the officials involved has now attempted to explain.
In the final minute of the fight, Simon, who was down on the scorecards at the time, changed the momentum of the fight by taking down Dvalishvili and applying a mounted guillotine choke.
Dvalishvili frantically tried to stay conscious in the dying seconds of the round and the fact that his legs were still moving suggests that he had successfully done so as the final bell sounded, but as soon as Simon let go it became apparent that he was out.
At the time it seemed like Dvalishvili would be awarded a decision win, but after a lengthy discussion between the bout’s officials, it was Simon who was declared the winner by way of submission at 5.00mins of the third round.
It was a confusing situation all-round, but now one of the cage-side official’s Marc Goddard has attempted to explain how they came to the decision.
“I think it was pretty clear at the end of the fight, maybe even before, when the bell sounded, Dvalishvili … he was out,” Goddard told MMAfighting.com. “He was actually out. And in that instance, it’s like any other instance if you pick up a rear-naked choke or a guillotine. The fact that he drifts into unconsciousness was actually — it should be recorded as a submission, technical submission.”
“There was a bit of confusion, it was loud, and I just wanted to make sure that they weren’t going to go to the scorecards, because that’s the way it looked like it was going to be heading,” Goddard explained. “But the referee Liam Kerrigan, to his credit, when he saw [Dvalishvili] was out, he actually waved it off. And I think there was a little bit of a rush, people thought we were going to try and read the scorecards, so I said, ‘No, no, no. The guy has lost the fight.’ Even though he came around pretty sharp afterwards, he most definitely lost the fight under the ruling and the right guy went away with the win.”